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Random Crime

with 5 comments

Eve Carson at UNC and Lauren Burk at Auburn. Two young women with their whole life ahead of them. Both excellent students, making contributions to their schools and their communities. At some points last week, both of them came across two young men who couldn’t see further down the road of their lives than what they wanted at that moment. They didn’t care who they had to hurt to get it. Random? Fate? Avoidable? Unavoidable? I have no idea.

It’s hard for me to fathom a “plan” that includes the loss of two “good” people while their killers remain, probably for the rest of their lives at taxpayers’s expense. It’s hard for me to fathom the possibility of such cruel randomness as well.

And therein lies the mystery with which I’m trying to deal in my life right now. Mystery is hard for me. I like cold, hard facts that can be counted on time and time and time again. It makes me feel like there is at least some chance for control over the things that happen to me and those I love.

Mystery: This is going to be an interesting journey.


On another rabbit trail….here’s something I was thinking of in the shower today. It had to do with Truth, and people who think they have the market on Truth, and how they express that to others in the form of religion.

Let’s say there were two people standing midway of the blocks on two intersecting streets. One person is on East Street, and one is on North Street. Both can see where East and North intersect, but they are far enough up the streets that they can’t see each other.

Both of them see the last few seconds before a car wreck where the car has swerved and hit a woman in the intersection. One of the witnesses gets to the scene and smells alcohol on the breath of the driver. The other witness stays back. Both witnesses separately tell the TRUTH to the police of what they observed.

Witness One (who smelled the alcohol on the driver) says that he saw the driver swerve and hit the woman. He adds that he presumes it was the alcohol that made the driver swerve.

Witness Two (who did not smell alcohol) says that he saw the driver swerve to avoid hitting a dog that had run across the street. (Witness One did not see the dog.)

So two people saw the exact same event (the wreck), but ascribed different reasons/motivations for the event itself, and unless they are informed otherwise, they will think that each of them has the “truth” about what really happened.

Police might later discover that it was neither the alcohol nor the dog, but the driver purposely hit his ex-wife due to nasty stuff they were going through.

All of that to say, that we all view the events in our lives and the lives of others from our limited perspectives and through the filters through which we see all of life. So who am I to tell anyone that I have Truth? I think the more correct answer is that, collectively, we all have a little piece of the truth, and we need to come together to share it with one another.

I know that’s an odd aside from the random crime post, but it’s just something I wanted to say. I realize it’s a bit rambling, but that’s only because I really want a nap. 🙂


Written by blogicalinks

March 9, 2008 at 4:58 pm

Posted in Sharing

5 Responses

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  1. One of the reasons I did not have a strong religious foundation when growing up is due to an incident such as you mentioned. My Dad had a son from his first marriage (along with the 2 daughters I told you about). One day, as their mother was driving home from picking them up from my Dad’s house (after their divorce), she ran off the road and the car rolled over. My Dad’s son was killed in the accident, leaving my Dad to question his faith as to why a child would be taken from the Earth like this. My Dad and I have since had several conversations about this, and I wonder, too, about the “mystery” of the “plan.”

    And for your second half, I have to think about a lesson from my Physics classes. If you are driving on the highway at 55, it feels like you are whizzing by everything around you. But when you come up to another vehicle, and that vehicle adjusts its speed to match yours, it feels a lot differently. To the driver of the other car, you aren’t moving at all. It all depends on the frame of reference in which you measure the speed. Both your frame of reference and the other car’s frame of reference are moving at 55, RELATIVE to someone outside of those frames (such as a bystander on the road). But relative to the other car, you aren’t moving at all! Or, imagine a bug inside the car. You look at it crawling along, and it moves only a few inches per minute. But remember that this bug is inside a car that is moving at 55.

    I do like your thought that we all have a little bit of the truth, and we all need to come together to share it. I like that idea a lot.


    March 9, 2008 at 10:59 pm

  2. I do not know why bad things happen to good people nor why bad things happen at all. I had a friend tell me that in her faith that she believed one’s spirit can choose what lessons to learn before one is born but not how those lessons are learned. She would argue that someone would wish to work on the concept of compassion in the next life, for example, and that lesson might come in the form of cancer. Humans do seem to learn best from experiences as we are cognitive beings. She would say that experiences are neither good nor bad but that our human perceptions make it so. I am in no way saying Eve and Lauren choose their fates. I am just trying to find hope when there is none. Maybe Eve and Lauren generated enough positive karma through their experiences and it got transferred to a starving home for children in Africa who suddenly found the will to eat. Who knows.


    March 10, 2008 at 11:11 am

  3. Hate to say—it’s all random, the universe has no plan—or at least no special plan for humans. The fact that we can create our own meaning may be completely unique in the cosmos.

    I think truth is subjective, and that there’s no universal truth. (Why am I so argumentative today?) The “truth” of the driver running down his wife might be because he thought she was having an affair, when she wasn’t. So it would be another circumstance based on one person’s version of the “truth”. All we can observe and describe is that x vehicle weighing xxxx pounds hit x person at x location. That’s factual truth. (Or really it’s not, I bet Eric and his physics could tell us how we can’t quantify time or space to an absolute degree. But that’s another subject, perhaps.) When you start talking about human beings and their perceptions, the truth, as you point out, depends on the person. Even the driver–the person who you would most expect to know—may not have the key to the truth. It’s based on his subjective experience.

    There’s a saying of the Buddha, “with our thoughts we make the world.” Maybe it applies to both of your rabbit trails.


    March 10, 2008 at 12:46 pm

  4. I agree that truth is subjective.

    I may not have a great comment, but I really enjoy the stories and questions that you pose. Ain’t that the truth!?


    March 11, 2008 at 3:10 pm

  5. true that


    March 15, 2008 at 12:41 am

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